Odelle Tillotson Barlow, age 101, of Utica, Miss., transitioned to her Lord's home on Saturday, April 29, 2023. The oldest of five children, Odelle was born in Vicksburg on April 26, 1922 to Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Tillotson. Odelle lived her life to the fullest and dearly loved her family, her friends and her church. She and late husband, Ernest L. "Brute" Barlow, met on a blind date shortly after the end of World War II. They were married on June 12, 1947 at Bowmar Avenue Baptist Church in Vicksburg (now known as Crossway Church) and were happily married for more 66 years.
Odelle graduated from Jett High School and went to attend Southern Business College. She worked in the personal division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1942 until 1983 where she received numerous accolades and awards for excellence. During her retirement, she volunteered for more than 17 years as a Pink Lady at what is now known as River Region Medical Center. Throughout her life, she was active in her church, teaching the young girls' Sunday School class, assisting with Vacation Bible School, and was active in the WMU. Odelle loved her adult Sunday School Class and, later in life, the senior class. She was honored by Crossway Church in 2017 as the older active member of the congregation; she was 95 years old at the time and had attended since early childhood.
The Barlows traveled often to visit friends and tour the country, but no place was as dear to their hearts as the sites and sounds of Branson, Mo., where they vacationed more than 20 times during their years together. Following retirement, Odelle and Ernest moved to their new home just north of Utica. There, they felt as if they had their own resort, with land for their cows, a lake, and a special place for their sons and grandchildren to fish, hunt and enjoy the sights and sound of country living.
Odelle's eyes would always sparkle with any mention of her two beloved sons, Ernest "Ernie" Barlow, Jr. and Roger Ellis Barlow (Susan). who spent every spare moment at the farm. Odelle loved to cook and had a passion for cookbooks and cooking TV shows, and she couldn't wait for the opportunity to prepare a special meal for her family. Until the time of her passing, she and her sons hosted monthly family luncheons for members of the Tillotson family, as well as a Tillotson family reunion every Memorial Day weekend for over 20 years.
She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents and two brothers, Jack Tillotson and Sidney Tillotson. She is survived by her two sons; two grandchildren from Madison, Miss., Hunter Barlow (Liz) and Molly Barlow Langdon (Michael); four great-grandchildren; and two sisters Elsie McGhee Buchanan of Vicksburg and Pat Mansfield of Nederland, Texas.
Visitation for Odelle Barlow will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at Glenwood Funeral Home in Vicksburg. A funeral service will follow beginning at 2:00 p.m., and graveside service thereafter at Green Acres Cemetery. The family requests that memorials be made to Crossway Church of Vicksburg.
Pallbearers will be Hunter Barlow, Michael Langdon, Jeff Mansfield, Clyde McGehee, Chuck Mendrop, Ellis Tillotson, Jamie Tillotson and Mark Tillotson.
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